Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Man rescued from 20-foot OTR cistern

Victim says someone pushed him in

By Steve Eder, seder@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Rescuers pulled a 33-year-old West End man from a 20-foot cistern in an abandoned Over-the-Rhine home Monday afternoon — six hours after the man says he was pushed in by an unidentified man.

        Isaac Jackson said he was tossed into the hole at the back of a decrepit home in the 1300 block of Republic Street about 9 a.m.

        “He was trying to punish me or something,” Mr. Jackson said of his attacker as he lay on a stretcher in an ambulance outside the house. “He was trying to kill me. I know he was.”

        A woman, whose name authorities did not release, heard Mr. Jackson screaming and called police at 3:13 p.m.

        It took Cincinnati fire personnel 45 minutes to pull Mr. Jackson from the cistern in a block of homes dating to the 1800s. Rescuers used ropes and confined space techniques, and Cincinnati firefighter Harold Lucas slid into the hole to assist.

        A portion of Republic Street was blocked off during the rescue.

        Mr. Jackson was taken to University Hospital, where he was in stable condition Monday night, a hospital spokesman said.

        Fire officials said they found drug paraphernalia at the home, which had boarded-up windows, a garbage-laden back yard, and severe water and fire damage.

        Cincinnati Police said no arrests had been made in the incident by Monday night.

        Mr. Jackson has convictions for attempted theft and receiving stolen property over the past four years, according to Hamilton County court records.


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